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Global car fleet tipped to double to 2 billion

Nz Herald
Saturday, February 24, 2018

THE number of cars on roads around the world is set to double to two billion by 2040 as the global economy grows, according to predictions by BP.

The oil titan believes about 300 million of those vehicles will be electric, compared with three million today. But the company reckons oil will still be providing 85 per cent of transport fuel despite the growing popularity of greener vehicles.

In its benchmark annual Energy Outlook published this week, BP believes overall oil demand will continue to grow, boosted by demand for air conditioning and plastics manufacturing, but will peak in the late 2030s.

BP chief economist Spencer Dale said: "The suggestion that rapid growth in electric cars will cause oil demand to collapse just isn't supported by the basic numbers, even with really rapid growth.

"Even in the scenario where we see a ban on combustion engines and very high efficiency standards, oil demand is still higher in 2040 than it is today."

However, Mr Dale noted tougher restrictions on use of plastic such as shopping bags and packaging could dent oil demand by as much as two million barrels per day.

BP has revealed a $US5 million ($F10m) investment in US company FreeWire, which makes mobile fast charging units for electric vehicles.

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